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UN names third panellist to join Israel war crimes committee

The UN Human Rights Council has named the third member to join the Independent International Commission of Inquiry to investigate purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip, during Israel's latest aggression.

In a statement, the Council's president, Gabon's UN Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella, announced that US Judge Mary McGowan Davis, a former New York Supreme Court Judge, was appointed on Monday evening as the third member of the UN Commission.

Earlier this month, the UN Human Rights Council chose as commission members Canadian Professor of International Law William Schabas and Doudou Diène of Senegal, who is a former UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

British lawyer of Lebanese descent Amal Alamuddin had also been selected; however, in a statement issued on 11 August, Alamuddin announced that she could not participate in the inquiry citing "existing commitments, including eight ongoing cases".

The UN decided to form the Committee during its meeting on 23 July to investigate human rights violations carried out by Israel and the Palestinians during the Israeli assault against the Gaza Strip, which so far has killed at least 2,076 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

According to media reports, the UN said the Committee would brief the international body on the course of the investigation during an initial meeting in September, before submitting its final report in March 2015.

 

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